Barakah nuclear power plant (Credit: ENEC)Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates has achieved 80% of its rated power capacity, Nawah Energy Company and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) announced on 18 November.

The milestone is an important step in the ongoing Power Ascension Testing (PAT) of Barakah 1, which involves slowly raising the reactor power levels while collecting data and tuning control and safety systems, Nawah said.

Nawah is a joint venture between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (82%) and Kepco (18%), responsible for operations and maintenance at Barakah NPP.

Throughout the PAT process, the systems of the reactor are monitored and tested to ensure their compliance with national regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability, Nawah said.

PAT is conducted under the oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), which has conducted more than 280 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development.

Nawah’s operations team at Barakah 1 are now working to increase the plant’s electricity production to 100% capacity, marking the final stage of PAT. Following the achievement of 100% power, the reactor will be gradually shut down to enable the commencement of a check outage.

During this outage, which takes place over a period of several months, systems will be carefully examined, and any planned or corrective maintenance will be performed to ensure the unit's safety, reliability and security prior to the start of commercial operations.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation recently announced the construction completion of Barakah 2, and said operational readiness preparations are now underway by Nawah. Construction of Barakah 3&4 is in the final stages, with the overall construction completion of the four units now standing at more than 94%.

Photo: Barakah nuclear power plant (Credit: ENEC)